web analytics
July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


NCSY at 60, Havdalah, What? I’m Not Unique?!

ncsy

It’s hard to believe that NCSY National Conference of Synagogue Youth of the OU is celebrating sixty years of activities and bringing Jewish youth closer to Torah, G-d and the Mitzvot.  I became religious, shomeret mitzvot, aka Orthodox through what I saw, felt and learned in NCSY in the mid-1960’s.

When I went to my first Shabbaton in the fall-early winter of 1963 I knew nothing of Torah Judaism.  Of course I knew that I was Jewish.  My family didn’t celebrate Christmas or Easter, but we didn’t observe kashrut, Shabbat or most of the Jewish Holidays and certainly none of the fast days besides going to shul on Yom Kippur.

The Judaism I became acquainted with, under the instruction/supervision of Rabbi Pinchas Stolper and Rabbi Chaim Wasserman, who jointly headed NCSY at the time, was a full-time religion.  It would be a lie to claim or imply that I was smitten by my first introduction to Torah Judaism.  The truth is that I was more attracted to the social and organizational life I discovered in NCSY.  In direct contrast to my new life in Great Neck where we had just moved to the summer of 1962, in NCSY I found friends and approval.  Yes, nobody shunned me for wearing the wrong clothes, even though my tops were sleeveless which I knew was against regulations.  The administrators and advisors knew when and where to pick their battles.

As I worked my way up as chapter and regional officer, nobody forced a sweater on me, even at National Convention 1965. I had very carefully and “davkally” chosen my wardrobe without a sleeve or sweater, pushing limits even as I enthusiastically participated and listened to every session/lecture and every event. I also stood out as an energy-filled dancer at all meals and opportunities.  The effect of the mantra-like lyrics of the songs we sang must have sunk in very deeply, though I was unaware.



Nobody was more surprised than myself when during the Havdalah, which ends Shabbat, Rabbi Stolper’s words finally “cracked” my resistance and suddenly I was in tears vowing to bring Shabbat and all of the other Mitzvot to my everyday life.

Please don’t think it was an easy, quick path or battle. I had many hurdles in terms of family, friends and school.  Of course even almost fifty years later I consider it all worth it.  I can’t imagine my life without the Torah, Mitzvot and living in Israel. Friends I made in NCSY are still my friends, and I do my best to be a credit to NCSY.  This picture is up in my home for all to see.

I had always thought that my story about Havdalah being the key to my neshama soul was unique, but apparently it isn’t.  Havdalah is the ceremony that separates the Holy Day of Shabbat with the other days of the week.  It’s the reality check.  We can’t have Shabbat if we don’t do the weekday chores and preparations. In This World we have to balance the two.  It takes six days of work to create and prepare for Shabbat.  Listening to Rabbi Stolper speak, and I don’t remember after all these years decades what he actually said, it was clear to me that I couldn’t continue living without my weekly dose of Shabbat.  From the short video/film that NCSY produced, I wasn’t the only one whose spiritual vulnerability was touched by Havdalah.



Visit Shiloh Musings.

About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “NCSY at 60, Havdalah, What? I’m Not Unique?!”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
The White House will free Pollard but bar him from traveling to Israel for five years.
US Won’t Let Pollard Out of Country for Five Years
Latest Blogs Stories
Doug Goldstein

Meet Republican US presidential candidate Kerry Bowers & listen to his message to the Israeli public

palestinian children songs

Amongst the Palestinians (sic) what is promoted and praised for its young people? Terror & martyrdom

Peres' 90th Birthday

“If you can’t negotiate with your enemy, why negotiate at all?” Great sound bite. The press loved it

Woman_rabbi

The phenomenon pushing limits of Orthodoxy to the extreme left has no chance of becoming mainstream

Discussing, what should you do if you are feeling overstressed in your job and are tempted to quit?

Considering Esther Pollard’s group mismanaged his case, Pollard’s chances of parole are slim

Detention Camps for US Jews? Sounds farfetched but it did to Japanese-Americans during WW II as well

We asked the soldiers, what will you tell your children you did during the Disengagement?

The Arab terrorist murderer who murdered Malachi Rosenfeld,(HY”D)last month, was an American citizen

The “Stop Iran” rally was a voice of sanity coming from the American people, and directed at Senator Chuck Schumer who holds the keys…

Shalit Deal advocates: “Israel must do whatever it takes” to free Gilad; This proved deadly nonsense

Learn how modern technology can be used to foster personal development in life as well as in finance

Dear CNN: When hypocrisy rules a media outlet, its mandate to call what they do “journalism” expires

With it seems more lives than a cat, I now recognize Hasgacha Pratis is HaShem’s involvement in life

There needs to be clarity about what is & isn’t acceptable in Orthodoxy; That should be the debate.

Obama, Kerry etc are promoting their “deal” like it’s the genuine article, not a cheap “knock-off”

More Articles from Batya Medad
palestinian children songs

Amongst the Palestinians (sic) what is promoted and praised for its young people? Terror & martyrdom

pollard no you cant

Considering Esther Pollard’s group mismanaged his case, Pollard’s chances of parole are slim

The Arab terrorist murderer who murdered Malachi Rosenfeld,(HY”D)last month, was an American citizen

Obama, Kerry etc are promoting their “deal” like it’s the genuine article, not a cheap “knock-off”

“We Would Boycott “Palestinian” Goods, But…They Don’t Actually Make Anything”

It’s no surprise that the Kerry-Obama brokered “deal” with Iran was signed during the Three Weeks.

Bottom line: There’s ZERO to celebrate. Iran will continue in their attempt to destroy our world

Despite mutual admiration between Glick and Rav Bin-Nun, they disagree on Jews ascending Har HaBayit

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/ncsy-at-60-havdalah-what-im-not-unique/2014/02/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: